Electric Wire Hustle & Wallace play a classic live & talk Wellington’s soul scene

December 8th 2016


Electric Wire Hustle (Mara TK left) 

  • Electric Wire Hustle :: Interview with Stephen Ferris 18.11.16
  • Electric Wire Hustle & Wallace :: Love Don't Live Here Anymore (Live in the studio)


If Wellington natives Electric Wire Hustle and soul singer Wallace are anything to go by, New Zealand’s capital city is pumping with creativity.

Recently, Electric Wire Hustle singer Mara TK stopped by with FBi SMAC Award ‘Next Big Thing’ nominee Wallace to chat and perform a rousing rendition of soul classic ‘Love Don’t Live Here Anymore’ on Mornings with Stephen Ferris.

While they didn’t know each other at the time, both Wallace and Electric Wire Hustle studied at the New Zealand School of Music. Clearly the Wellington school is doing something right: other graduates include Fat Freddy’s Drop and Trinity Roots.

“It’s just kind of a town for thinkers. For me it was a logical next step, moving out of Christchurch, so I kind of went to the big smoke – the capital. It’s been a dope place to live,” Mara TK said.

While Wellington’s culture was capital in shaping both musicians, Mara TK was keen to rattle off a global range of musical influences, citing Hendrix and jazz hero Miles Davis alongside some of Detroit’s lesser-known soul outfits like Slum Village and Moodymann. But there’s one influence that’s the strongest across Electric Wire Hustle’s three albums – Billy TK, aka Mara TK’s dad.

“My old man is a psychedelic rock guitarist. He got me into flower power musicians. He was actually the first musician to bring Marshall equipment into New Zealand,” he said. “He’s still playing too, well and good.”

Reshuffles have shifted Electric Wire Shuffle’s sound slowly between releases. Now a four-piece, the band melds electronic beats with soul influences for increasingly smooth sounds. With the recent release of third album The 11th Sky, the band continues to weave New Zealand history and mythology into their music.

“[The album title] refers toMāori mythology,” says Mara TK.

“We have a story about a demi-god called Tāne who ascends the twelve heavens to receive new knowledge for mankind to take mankind out of the dark ages with new kinds of practical, social, and creative knowledge for humankind. He ascends the twelve heavens and has trials and tribulations along the way and eventually makes it to the twelfth heaven. The eleventh sky is sort of a play on that – we’re almost there – we just need to push through the animosity we create between one another.”

While Wallace and Mara might have sung ‘Love Don’t Live Here Anymore’, the duet sounds softly optimistic, like two people moving on without bitterness. Listen above, or watch a snippet of the performance below.


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